Woman accused of stealing from disabled siblings

A Tioga County woman surrendered this week to Old Lycoming Township police to face felony charges for allegedly stealing more than $8,000 from two siblings while she served as their court-appointed guardian.

Stacey Merrill, 46, of Lawrenceville, is accused of taking the money from the bank accounts of her adult brother and sister and using the cash “to pay for her own personal expenses, including jewelry, car payments, auto parts, cable and electric bills,” township Police Chief Joseph Hope said.

She also spent her siblings’ money on her own children as well as to pay traffic fines that she owed, Hope said. The thefts occurred in the course of a year, he said.

Both the brother and sister have special needs, Hope said, adding that one lives in Hepburn Township while the other resides in DuBoistown.

Assisting with the investigation was DuBoistown police as well as the Lycoming County Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities Department and the Adult Protective Services Department.

Hope said Merrill has “admitted to investigators to using the money for her own expenses.”

Following her arraignment Wednesday before District Judge William Solomon on charges of theft and receiving stolen property, she was released on $25,000 bail.